Dating the Fall: A Conjecture

I just had that reaction to the way you phrased it when I read your post. I didn’t mean it as an accusation. But sometimes there is a hint of not taking responsibility in the way some Christians describe events that grates on me. I’m already on board regarding women. I’ve always preferred their company because in general they display better manners, more kindness and greater generosity than our lot.

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No. Just laughing at the way we think we are so tough. Women are tougher. Just mixing a little levity in to our discussions. Do you see how sensitive we are today? We take these matters so deadly serious, we can’t just enjoy each other.
Vinnie, this is the truth and it is one of the most powerful reasons I love Jesus. When He came into my heart, He gave me love for women, for the opposite sex, that had nothing to do with lust or sex. I saw women as beautiful individuals, precious to God and they were precious to me. All females. I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. Don’t you see? Vinnie, I couldn’t make myself like that. I hated females. I hated everybody. He changed me. He changed me on the inside. I didn’t try to change. He put love inside of me for others and it was absolutely UNBELIEVABLE. I DID NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS HAPPENING. I didn’t pray to be loving or for a new attitude, for concern for others, that He would take away my lust. I prayed, asking him to help me if He was real, if He could hear me. I begged. I pleaded with every ounce of who I am and I wouldn’t quit, praying over and over for his help. I knew there was no God. I knew it was a waste, but I kept pleading with him to help me, over and over and over and over. And He touched me–I never considered it could happen. I knew no one heard me. I wasn’t a fool. Jesus became real to me and inside me and I was new. He completely changed my guts.

You know what is wild? In two seconds the old me could convince you I was a filthy, disgusting, rabid animal. Today, since the most wonderful thing happened to me, and I want everyone to know Him, I am unconvincing, impotent, unable to persuade others Who He Is and He is worth a shot. It is crazy.

You are right. And, thanks for your comment. Kind of you.

Well when we start talking about misogyny, slavery and genocide and people defend these actions because they are in their Holy Book, I don’t think it’s a laughing mater.

I guess so. Those thoughts, that way of conducting a life, those kinds of attitudes are so far removed from me, from who I am, that it doesn’t register with me that people are so cruel. And I was the worst.
That is a drawback in a way. He changes us so much that in time we can find it difficult to wrap our selves around and recall vividly what it felt like to have hatred eating away at our very soul. Dear God

Read Philemon again slowly. Goodness gracious. Paul loved that guy. Onesimus
“I’ll pay you back.” “He became my son” “I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you.” “…that you might have him back forever— 16 no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother.”

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Through our discussions on a wide variety of topics more or less of importance to Christ’s identity, how easily I forget his stated mission then, now and forever. He said He came to earth expressly for the lost, to seek them out and to keep seeking them out (the Greek is in the continuous present tense) in order to save them, from themselves, from the ravages of self-centeredness, from living life without ever knowing why they are alive, from being tortured by the lure of compelling temptatioins that keep coming, from not knowing the greatest friend who loves us so. That is hell.

How about 6000 years ago, shortly after Creation. Genealogies are historical accounts, and since the years between one person’s birth and the next in the genealogy are listed in years, it is pretty simple to calculate, even if you posit missing generations.

At the end of the day, actual historical accounts are more accurate than our speculations regardless of how elegant they may be.

Aye, Dating the Fall: A Conjecture in Missing the Point.

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Only to someone with a modern understanding of genealogies.

And again you assume the writer of Genesis has exactly the same understanding of genealogy that you do and uses it for the same reasons you do.

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There are two major problems with using lice DNA as a time marker for clothing. One, given the occasional hybridization between different hominid lineages, it is possible that our modern types of lice originated with different host lineages (e.g., the modern primarily clothes-dwelling lice could have gotten a start on a species with longer body hair). Two, the dates are largely based on molecular clocks, and molecular clocks are often very badly calibrated and vary by huge amounts.

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Yes, both the young-earth approach and many of the skeptical approaches to Genesis fall into the error of assuming that it must be history as a modern “just the facts” historical source would give it. But biblical genealogies are focused on pointing to connections, not on providing a chronological framework. Hence Matthew skips some generations to provide memorable (and perhaps symbolically significant) numbers of generations. Luke mentions a name not covered in Genesis. Contemporary individuals vary dramatically in the number of generations mentioned between them and a previous set of contemporaries (e.g., number of generations from the twelve patriarchs to people during the Exodus).

Copying lists of numbers was not particularly easier back then than now. It’s pretty obvious if you write something that isn’t a word, but any combination of digits is a number. For the genealogies in Genesis, we have different sets of numbers in the Masoretic, Septuagint, and Samaritan versions; similar variations are found in the parallel lists of numbers of people in different families returning from exile in Ezra, Nehemiah, and I Esdras. The genealogies in Genesis 5 and 11 also have some statistical peculiarities in the numbers, include a few numbers of other significance, put Methuselah’s death after the flood in some of the chronologies, have Abraham saying he’s too old to have a kid when he’s younger than the apparent age given for his father at Abe’s birth, and are never pointed to as significant elsewhere in the Bible. All this definitely suggests that it’s a good idea to apply Paul’s warning to not argue over genealogies to these passages.


Getting rid of people who sacrifice their babies onto their gods its fine for me(if the Bible record is to be taken true on that matter)

Human sacrifice was definitely real. I suspect it was a part of very ancient Jewish culture as well which was polytheistic. I don’t think the portrayal of Jews vs baby killers is entirely accurate though. In some instances it certainly may have been very much a part of the truth. But…

Psalm 137:9 Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.

Doesn’t sound like knights in shining armor saving babies to me.

  • The maximum number of individuals in a given generation of a person’s ancestors = 2^n.
    • E.g. In the 33rd generation before a person, he/she has a maximum of 2^33 ancestors, which assumes that no ancestor is counted twice. So 2^33 = 8,589,934,592 individuals.
  • Absent evidence for the possibility, it is unlikely that there has ever been a time in the history of the earth when the population of humans was 8.5+ billion individuals. This is a paradox.
  • “Pedigree collapse” resolves the paradox: In the distant past, some number of a person’s ancestors in a given generation must have filled multiple ancestral slots: ancient genealogical trees contain many “repeats” and the actual number of different people in the older generations is smaller than the maximum number of people possible.
  • Assuming an average age of 20 years when each ancestor conceives the next generation, the 33rd generation before an individual would have been born 20 yrs. x 33 generations = 660 years before the individual, which is not inconceivable.
  • “In genetic genealogy, the identical ancestors point [also called the all common ancestors point or genetic isopoint] is the most recent point in a given population’s past such that each individual alive at this point either has no living descendants, or is the ancestor of every individual alive in the present. This point lies further in the past than the population’s most recent common ancestor (MRCA).”
  • “The identical ancestors point for Homo sapiens has been the subject of debate. In 2004, Rohde, Olson and Chang showed through simulations that the Identical Ancestors Point for all humans is surprisingly recent, on the order of 5,000-15,000 years ago.” [ Rohde DL, Olson S, Steve Olson (writer), Chang JT (September 2004). “Modelling the recent common ancestry of all living humans”. Nature . 431 (7008): 562–6.
  • Consequently, it seems safe to say: “Strangers are just relatives you haven’t met yet.”

Another interesting outcome of population dynamics and genetics is ghost ancestors.


I’m gonna have to chew through this very slowly because I’m not immediately understanding what is claimed.

I get that part because it was the neat feature in my post above.

So, Chang’s result can be used to prove a “corollary” “under standard models of recombination”. Okey-dokey, so far.

So, … (parsing that part): "it’s very probable that there are individuals within “the constant multiple of log2(N) generations into the past”, referring to folks in “Chang’s result”. :+1:

I got that. It’s just repeating the neat conclusion that intrigued me.

Ah! Got it!!! I know about them from my own genetic genealogical adventures. They’re the folks who can be shown, by documentation or circumstantial evidence, to be ancestors of folks living today, but “that left no genetic trace” in the folks living today. LOL! (If I got it right.)
I can’t find the Youtube video now, but I remember the fellow who posted it saying that autosomal DNA (i.e. kind that’s DNA test analyzes) inherited from previous generations tends to disappear [i.e. “fade away”“get watered down”] quickly over descendant generations, so that it’s impossible to confirm a biological relationship between fourth cousins (or was it fifth or sixth cousins).

I think that’s what is being described in the note as leaving “ghost ancestors”. Ha! I guess–if I’ve got it right–a biological relationship between people who are related through “ghost ancestors” would make the people “ghost cousins”.

I don’t think that is entirely correct. I haven’t looked in any great detail, but I know that looks at very short DNA sequences. The same goes for DNA fingerprinting in the world of criminal justice. What they are looking for is the combination of short sequences across many chromosomes. Those markers are shuffled with new genomes in each generation so that specific combination will change with each generation to the point that they are as similar as anyone else you would find in the same community. The markers don’t disappear, they just get shuffled, at least in the short term. The alleles that they are looking at are relatively common alleles so it would be difficult for them to disappear quickly from a population without something like a massive bottleneck.

Ghost ancestors are a bit different. As I am sure you are aware, egg and sperm carry half of a persons full diploid genome. Also, during the production of gametes there is about 1 crossover event per chromosome, meaning a chunk of those paired chromosomes trades places. Therefore, only half of a persons DNA gets passed to each descendant. On average, only 25% of a persons DNA is passed on to the subsequent generation, just as you get heads 50% of the time when you flip a coin, on average. If you keep repeating this process there is a chance that all of a persons DNA will eventually lose this 50% reduction in each generation. They are still descendants, but none of their genome came from that ancestor.

Psalm 137:9 is found in one of the Imprecatory Psalms (or Precatory Psalms) that speak of violence against the enemies of God. That verse reads, “Happy is the one who seizes your infants / and dashes them against the rocks.”

To “imprecate” means to “pray evil against,” and the imprecatory prayers in the Bible strike people today as strange or wrong. It is important to understand the context of this verse and others like it. The background is the Jewish people calling upon God to exact revenge upon their military enemies.

Psalm 137 is in the context of the Jewish exile in Babylon (Psalm 137:1) where they had been taken as slaves after the Babylonians burned down the city of Jerusalem. The Jews in exile were then told to “sing us one of the songs of Zion!” (Psalm 137:1), adding further humiliation and frustration to a defeated people.

The psalmist recalls both the disgraces of the Edomites (who looted Jerusalem) and the Babylonians who destroyed their capital city. He comes to two conclusions to end the psalm. First, he says, “Happy is the one who repays you according to what you have done to us” (Psalm 137:8). This cry for revenge desired the destruction of their enemies.

Then in verse 9, the psalmist adds further detail to this cry for revenge, claiming, “Happy is the one” who kills the infants of their enemy. The desire is graphically stated, but it is simply a call for the destruction of the entire nation—the nation that had enslaved the Jews, killed their babies, and destroyed their city. The destruction of Babylon was expressly foretold in Isaiah 13:16, and by referencing that prediction, the psalmist may mean to say that the men who were God’s instruments in carrying out that prophecy would be happy in doing His will.

If we keep in mind that the psalms are songs that express intense emotions, a statement such as “Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks” should not shock us.

The writer did not intend to go out and kill babies; rather, he desired justice, which required the death of his enemies. Even today, those who have lost loved ones at the hands of others understandably desire the death of those who committed the crime.

We must be careful to interpret Psalm 137 in its historical context and apply it appropriately in connection with the full counsel of Scripture. It is a normal human desire to see justice done and for enemies to be defeated. However, Romans 12:17–19 commands, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Psalm 137 is not a selfish prayer for personal revenge. It is a plea for God to intervene in the affairs of men to keep His covenant and right all wrongs.

The Proper Hebrew Meaning

Additionally, “happy” is an inaccurate translation of the Hebrew. The Hebraic Tanakh reads:

אַשְׁרֵ֤י ׀ שֶׁיֹּאחֵ֓ז וְנִפֵּ֬ץ אֶֽת־עֹ֝לָלַ֗יִךְ אֶל־הַסָּֽלַע׃


The verb אשר ('ashar) generally indicates a decisive progression (Proverbs 4:14, 9:6) or a setting right (Isaiah 1:17). On occasion it’s used in the negative (literally: Isaiah 3:12; leading someone “straight astray”), but most often it’s positive. So positive even that this verb’s secondary meaning is that of being or being made happy (Psalm 41:2, Proverbs 3:18), or even being deemed or called happy (Genesis 30:13, Job 29:11, Psalm 72:16).

Therefore the Hebrew implies: “How right it would be that the babies of the enemies should be dashed against the rocks, just as ours have been.”

It is not condoning infanticide, it is simply acknowledging that if such were to ever happen, it wouldn’t be like they hadn’t had it coming.

A good answer i had found on a website

I posted a lot of different stuff, so you’re going to have to help me focus in on just what it is that you “don’t think is entirely correct.” E.g. I’d be surprised if anything in my post to which you were responding, from beginning to my words: “So, Chang’s result can be used to prove a “corollary” “under standard models of recombination”. Okey-dokey, so far.” is incorrect. That leaves:


that I’ve misunderstood. Which is it?

By the way, just for kicks, I took a zip file of my AncestryDNA results and unzipped it, then uploaded the text file to my Google drive at: An AncestryDNA results file.
Hopefully, that link will enable access to the file’s contents.

Note, if it does, that the opening introduction to the data, AncestryDNA says:

  • #AncestryDNA raw data download
    #This file was generated by AncestryDNA at: 04/21/2020 11:34:10 UTC
    #Data was collected using AncestryDNA array version: V2.0
    #Data is formatted using AncestryDNA converter version: V1.0
    #Below is a text version of your DNA file from DNA, LLC. THIS
    #Genetic data is provided below as five TAB delimited columns. Each line
    #corresponds to a SNP. Column one provides the SNP identifier (rsID where
    #possible). Columns two and three contain the chromosome and basepair position
    #of the SNP using human reference build 37.1 coordinates. Columns four and five
    #contain the two alleles observed at this SNP (genotype). The genotype is reported
    #on the forward (+) strand with respect to the human reference.
    rsid chromosome position allele1 allele2

Below the column headings, the “raw data” is recorded. (I trust that no one has figured out how to convert the raw data into a clone of me. :laughing:). Is it possible that your reference to “very short DNA sequences” refers, in fact, to the SNPs (i.e. single nucleotide polymorphisms) listed below the column headings?

I’m stumped by the meaning of your words, to wit:

I don’t doubt that you know what you’re talking about, but I’m having difficulty translating what you say into something that I understand.

AncestryDNA downloads my DNA raw data into its database and compares mine to the raw data of other folks in the database. After a comparison of my data and that of the other folks in the database, a list of DNA “matches” is generated and shared with me, ranked in order from the most similar to substantially less similar. Here are the first two matches in the list that AncestryDNA identified as sharing the most autosomal DNA with me.
Screenshot 2021-07-19 at 20-06-11 AncestryDNA® Matches
The two ladies are sisters and are daughters of my oldest (now deceased) half-brother. We were fortunate because we knew who each of us is and how we are related. If we hadn’t known each other and how we are related, I’d have gone to my favorite, on-line shared DNA/biological relationship calculator at: The Shared cM Project 3.0 tool v1 and plugged in each person’s “Shared DNA Count”. Plugging in the first woman’s Shared DNA Count, i.e. 892 cMs [centimorgans] and I would have discovered that she was either:

  1. My Great-grandparent,
  2. My Great-aunt,
  3. My Half-aunt,
  4. My 1st Cousin,
  5. My Half-niece,
  6. My Great-niece, or
  7. My Great-great-grandchild.

Thereupon, I would have had to put on my Sherlock Holmes hat and, hopefully, by the process of elimination, I would eventually have been able to figure how the match and I are related. Convenient links in AncestryDNA allow for on-line communication between the match and me, if they are still alive.

That, in a nutshell, is how I have used AncestryDNA.

Now, you may notice that the second match and I share less DNA than the first match and I. In other words, the “genome shuffling” that you mention, happens in every generation. What I found intriguing is that my three Sampson-brothers, who share the same parents, do not share the same quantity of DNA with each other. The oldest brother shares 2,705 cMs with the 2nd oldest brother and 2,440 cMs with the youngest brother. The 2nd oldest brother, of course, shares 2,705 cMs with the oldest brother and only 2,498 cMs with the youngest brother.

My point?
Well, I think my point is that my brothers-by-adoption and my half-nieces and I, share the same ancestors in a generation far enough back. But–as you noted–the DNA passed on by those “same ancestors” didn’t disappear off the face of the earth, it just got reshuffled in each descendant generation and none of us (i.e. my brothers-by-adoption and my half-nieces and I) were dealt the same hand.

That seems to be supported by the text with corresponding to the beginnings of agriculture and change from small groups of hunter-gatherers to organized permanent communities. That would also be the time that Terry’s comment on viewing themselves as moral animals became important to thriving in community.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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